Tuesday, October 1

Small Wonders, Not Going It Alone and Expressing Our Feelings 10/1/13

      Welcome to my guests.
Gratitudes for Today:

1. Delighting in a fantastic lunch with a friend, was one of yesterday's pleasures.  It wasn't the food, that was terrific, it was the
conversation. He's a fellow left-handed person; I like his global, non-linear thinking; it refreshes my soul; I enjoy his perspective, it enlarges my vision of life and its possibilities.
2. I appreciate the healing that happens when connecting at the heart level with dear ones.  Bonding with safe people makes detaching from others who aren't healthy for my emotional or mental well-being, possible.

       I have to clamber unto the live branch of healthy relationships.  This needs doing before detaching from the deadwood branch of an abusive or unfair relationship, a limb that eventually would break away---with me standing on it---if I didn't exercise the discernment, courage and self-esteem necessary to escape from a certain future calamity.
3. I enjoy the posts you leave---it contributes towards the community we share here.
4. I got in a three mile walk the other day.  I hiked it to meet my friend John for lunch.  I'm glad for the exercise and catching some rays.

There is beauty in seemingly simple things, like this wall
5.  The weather has been fantastic---in the mid seventies. Walking through town the other provides artistic sights I'd miss If I was driving my car.  Simple things----brick walls, wild flowers, watching how another person walks can be moments of wonder.  All of life has its unique beauty if we but make the time to see.

Life is Our Spiritual Practice

       I met with a client yesterday. Seeing her progress adds richness to my life.  It's easy slipping into black and white, dogmatic reasoning.  How sad it is being trapped within rigid thinking.  She and I discussed ways this can be prevented since it's her nature being this way, a result of having an abusive childhood.

       We looked at the challenges she has with her  roommates as a spiritual practice.  We spent time considering how she express herself, using nonviolent communication, how she relates with her housemates, letting them know her feelings, needs and requests.  Her circumstances allow her to grow more than she would meditating in a cave, somewhere in the desert.  We went over how a person can have serenity and thrive, even in the midst of  chaos.

        Yes, it's possible.  I know tranquility, even when the squalls of life slap my face with the waves of unpleasantries and intense stressful moments.  It was refreshing seeing her enthusiasm, after our time was up.

6. I like my work and am humbled I can serve others in their journeys through life.

7. I'll meet with a group of friends at 7:30 p.m. whose support I value.

    At the event I'll meet someone and we're going to talk about prenatal depression, a subject not often discussed. With two other friends who attend, I'll process legal challenges; these friends have the expertise, am I glad.

     I appreciate my friends availability.  It's terrific knowing I'm not dealing with a multitude of issues alone.  I'm not superman, nor will I ever be, nor do I want to be.
"There is only one God and I am not it."
Being vulnerable and not hiding within the coffin of self-protection allows me to laugh all my laughter and cry all my tears.

Expressing Feelings
     I made time in the mid-afternoon to study---investing in myself.  I reviewed material that reminded me how we can express feelings in a way that's constructive, helpful and affirming while still taking care of our needs.  Ongoing practice is necessary if they are to be a regular part of my life.  I was reminded:

      1. Often what we think is expressing our feelings is really expressing judgment.  Example: " I feel you are disrespectful." 
        That's more a statement of what we believe that person has done to us, shown us disrespect, than a statement of our feelings, sadness, anger, resentment, etc. The above statement is a judgment. Which leads to another point that's important for us to be mindful of....
      2. Judgments make people uncomfortable. They are heard as criticism. It's much better for us to express the need that is underneath our feelings. To continue with the example above:  "I'm uncomfortable, because whenever I talk, I'm unable to finish my sentences. I value open communication and equality.  Would it be possible for you to hear me completely, before you replying?"                 
      3. Whenever a pronoun follows the word feel, we are expressing a thought. Same with the word "that."

 E.g.,  "I feel she is....,"  "I feel that...."

         Whatever follows will not be the expression of our feelings. Anyway, I love this sort of stuff. For more information about nonviolent communication, click here and here,
and lastly,  here too

How About You? 
What helps you to slow down, and take in the small pleasures life offers?

               Here's to having a great and grateful Tuesday,


Optimistic Existentialist said...

Pablo please send some of your wonderful autumn weather my way. It's mid 80s here today...yuck!

As far as what helps me slow down and enjoy life's pleasures...I find that putting my phone away for a few hours helps. Seriously. It makes me not as reliant on always having technology with me.

Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

What helps me to slow down and savor the simple pleasures in life are little, unassuming slogans like; easy does it, first things first, live and let live, progress not perfection, there is only one God, and I'm not it, etc.

On this Tuesday night, I am grateful for;

1. An early afternoon departure from work to rest, unwind, exhale, and prepare for the busier work days that lie ahead.

2. Time after a generous afternoon nap to do some timely, ongoing work on "making a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself"

3. Being able to calmly prepare for a pending small claims court concern with clarity, confidence and focus.

4. Gathering with our pastor and friends tonight in a beautiful Oakland Hills home with panoramic views of the entire SF/Bay Area at sunset, to review, reflect and deliberate best practices regarding interfaith peace activism; collaboration and outreach.

5. Hearing the good news tonight at this gathering that my friend and mentor has been unanimously invited back for the third time in two years to speak at a Thanksgiving season monthly prayer breakfast.

Vanessa Higgins said...

Get slow! I partake in yoga classes, go for a bike ride, or just sleep. I sleep a lot! Naps all throughout the day, early to bed, up late….mostly.

Pablo said...


You got it. Cool breezes are wafting your way. I love your idea about hibernating your phone. I swear, gazing upon the landscape of today's society, I see many addicted to their smart phones, iPods, iPads and laptops,tethered to technology.

Pablo said...

Dear Carl,

I love that you make time for YOU! You are pacing your routine, because life is a marathon, not a sprint.

You mentor must be happy that the he has a chance to serve again, encouraging others with practical insights.

Pablo said...


Great hearing from you! Do you also pray or journal? They help me slow down and capture the things that make my heart sing.

Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

On this Thursday night, I am grateful...

1. That for this long work day, I could host a new employee/colleague at work for an on-the-job training ride-along up to St. Helena, Yountville and Sonoma, on six sales and service calls; a routine seafood delivery, new-client sales presentation, and visits with a variety of other chef's along the way. Perfect weather, temperate autumn breezes and the slowly turning colors of the vineyard foliage was soothing to the eye and soul.

2. An uplifting gathering with friends in our home tonight to raise a joyful noise in song, nosh, and fellowship.

3. For slowly learning how to place principles above the vulnerable parts (character flaws) of my personality. I was able to say not to an unreasonable request today. Also, used logic and thoughtful consideration to order what could have been a chaotic morning/day. I was able to stop and think a couple of times, in order to regroup and move forward. Also, I was able to be gentle with myself regarding two mistakes that could seem monumental, but were handled smoothly.

On the challenging side; asking for your loving thoughts and prayers...

We are grieving the sudden loss early this morning, of a lovely neighbor Sarah; wife of Edwin and new mother of William. She was under thirty, a school teacher, married to a career firefighter; a beautiful inter-racial couple, with a delightful two month old baby boy! A sudden brain aneurysm at 1:30 AM, and she is gone. Life is so fragile and fleeting. We never know when and why God will call us. No answers, and why seems to become an empty, feeble question. Please pray for her peaceful transition to the eternal world, and for Edwin's faith, hope and healing...

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.